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Motivational Interviewing (MI)

Motivational interviewing (MI) is a person-centered, guiding method of communication and counseling to elicit and strengthen
motivation for change

Motivational interviewing, first described by William Miller (1983), and later elaborated in the classic book—Motivational Interviewing: Preparing People for Change (1991, 2002, 2013)—offers a practical, common sense approach for supporting clients in making and sustaining healthy behavior changes. Originally developed in the drug and alcohol field, over 800 clinical trials demonstrate the efficacy of MI across a range of populations, target behaviors, and medical conditions.

At its core, MI is not a unique or entirely new approach, but a combination of principles, skills, and strategies drawn from existing models of counseling and behavior change theory. Embracing an interpersonal style based on empathy, collaboration, and acceptance, the MI practitioner relies heavily on the use of strategic reflective listening as a means of eliciting clients’ strengths, inner wisdom, reasons for change, and ways of achieving it.

Meet Motivational Interviewing instructor: Steven Malcolm Berg-Smith


Instructor: Steven Malcolm Berg-Smith

Feb. 13 & 14

Available seats: 3/40

The Dana on Mission Bay, San Diego


Approved by the California Physical Therapy Association (CPTA) for physical therapists for .9 CEUs


Steven Malcolm Berg-Smith, MS, MINT Member

For over 30 years, Steven Malcolm Berg-Smith has worked as a behavior change counselor, health educator, drug & alcohol prevention specialist, and researcher.  He currently has a private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area as a motivational interviewing (MI) trainer, consultant, coach & mentor.

A member of the International Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) since 1994, Steve has conducted over 1000 motivational interviewing (MI) workshops and presentations throughout the US and internationally.  Considered a master trainer by his peers, Steve has served as a “trainer of trainers” for MINT, and collaborated in the design of MI-inspired behavior change intervention protocols for numerous national clinical research trials.  He has authored a manual on the “The Art of Teaching Motivational Interviewing,” along with several frequently cited articles on how to use motivation-enhancing tools and strategies to support adolescents and adults in making positive lifestyle changes.

Steven holds a MS in Community Health Education from the University of Oregon, and a BA in psychology from the University of Redlands.

This intermediate workshop consists of lecture and demonstration.


  • Observe and debrief  “real-play” demonstrations and video tape examples of Motivational Interviewing (MI)
  • List the key elements of a motivation-enhancing interpersonal style
  • Demonstrate and practice the interpersonal style and key communication skills for supporting healthy behavior change
  • Identify three motivation-enhancing strategies to integrate immediately into clinical practice

Feb. 13


  1. Welcome, Introductions, and Expectations:

- Pre-post questionnaire

  1. Opening exercises:

      - Baseline confidence assessment

      - Role-play comfort assessment

      - Strategic listening (part 1)

      - Identification of personal behavior

      - Brainstorm: What works?  What doesn’t?

  1. The Limits of Persuasion: Minimizing Resistance:
  2. MI Demonstration:
  3. Definition of MI:

      The “Spirit” of MI

      The Four Principles of MI

BREAK: 10:15-10:30am

  1. Introduction to OARS + I:

            - Open-ended Questions

            - Affirmation

            - Reflective Listening

            - Summary

            - Information Offering

  1. Asking Open-ended Questions:
  2. Opening & Closing the Conversation:

      LUNCH: 12:15-1:15pm

  1. Change Talk: Guiding clients towards motivation & confidence:
  2. Constructing Change Talk Focused Open-ended Questions:

      Negotiating the Agenda: Creating Focus:

BREAK:  3:00-3:15pm

  1. Interpersonal Style: Dancing versus Wrestling:
  2. Affirmation: Highlighting Strengths & Internal Resources:
  3. Rolling with Resistance:

Wrap-up: Key Learnings

4:30 - End

Feb. 14


  1. Key Learning’s from Day 1
  2. Strategic Listening (part 2): Forming Reflective Listening Statements:
  3. Assessing Readiness for Change:

BREAK: 10:00-15am

  1. Strategic Listening (part 3): Reflective Listening with Guidance:
  2. Exploring Ambivalence:
  3. Offering Advice:

 LUNCH: 12:15-1:15pm

  1. Strategic Listening (part 4): Moving from Simple to Complex Reflections:
  2. Offering Information & Education: Explore—Offer—Explore:
  3. Moving from Preparation to Action

BREAK: 3:00-3:15pm

  1. Ethical Complexities
  2. Integrating MI into Current Practice
  3. Putting It All Together:

- Pre-post questionnaire

  1. Wrap-up:

- Key Learning’s

      - Evaluations

4:30 pm: End


50% Complete

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